Saturday, December 26, 2015

First Love by James Patterson

Goodreads Summary

The New York Times bestseller First Love is now available in paperback, and illustrated with never-before-seen snapshots evoking the romantic trip of a lifetime.

Axi Moore is a "good girl". When Axi invites her best friend, Robinson--with whom she's secretly in love--to come with her on a cross-country road trip, she's finally breaking all the rules. But they soon find that, however far they run, they can't escape the heartbreaking troubles that brought them together in the first place.

In this madcap adventure full of love and loss, Axi realizes that her romance with Robinson might not have the happy ending she was hoping for....

My Thoughts

First of all, I bought this book with my nieces in mind.  We (my sister, my nieces, and I) had decided to do a book exchange for Christmas this year.  The plan was for all of us to bring a book, new or used, to exchange on Christmas Eve.

I didn't have any books that I wanted to give away (I like to keep my good books and I didn't want to give away a book that I didn't think was good) so I ran to the store to pick out a new book to exchange.  I found this one and it sounded so good that I wanted to read it before I gave it in the exchange.  I read the first two chapters the night I bought it and finished the rest of the book on the 5 1/2 hour drive to their house!  It was soooooo good!

I thought that it was going to be a cute, fun, little book about a girl and boy on an exciting adventure.  It was that in the beginning.... then it turned sad and heart wrenching!!!  It was still so good that I couldn't put it down.  If you enjoy tear jerkers then read this book!

Now, I didn't give it a full 5 stars on Goodreads.  There were a few parts in the book that I could have done without.  Maybe a few things I would change.  But still, I don't even give 4 stars away that often so for this to get a 4 means it's good!  First Love is definitely on my recommend list!

Monday, December 7, 2015

A Season to Wed (Three Winter Love Stories)

Goodreads Summary

They’ve helped orchestrate the perfect day for countless couples. Now twelve new couples will find themselves in the wedding spotlight in the second Year of Weddings novella collection.

Love at Mistletoe Inn by Cindy Kirk

Sometimes the road to happiness is paved with youthful mistakes.

Ten years after what she thought was her almost-wedding, Hope Prentiss discovers that the ceremony counted—and, as fate would have it, the jilted John Burke has just ridden back into town. After spending some time with John and helping plan a Christmas wedding for a mystery couple, Hope begins to wonder if she really wants a divorce . . . or a real wedding of her own.

A Brush with Love by Rachel Hauck

Revealing the beauty in other women might be Ginger Winters’s specialty—but it will take an unexpected kind of love to help Ginger see the beauty in herself.

Ginger Winters will be the “beauty-maker” for the Alabama society wedding of the decade.

But when high-school crush Tom Wells shows up looking for a haircut, Ginger’s thinly veiled insecurities threaten to keep her from love once again . . . despite Tom’s best efforts.

Serving Up a Sweetheart by Cheryl Wyatt

Meadow knows how to serve delicious food to match any wedding theme. But can she accept love when it's served up on a silver platter?

Meadow Larson is having the mother of all Mondays when her roof caves in during a blizzard, right before the most important wedding contract of her career.

Renovation contractor Colin McGrath offers to fix Meadow’s roof, even though he knows he is the last person she would accept help from.

But the more Meadow gets to know the new Colin, the more she realizes God may have something more permanent in store than a new catering kitchen.

My Thoughts

Sometimes I just get in the mood to read novellas.  To have a fun, enjoyable book that doesn’t take forever to read.  And what is better than a good novella?  Three novellas!!!  A Season to Wed is a collection of three Winter love stories and they were all good!

I’m not sure which one I enjoyed most because they were all pretty good.  Christmas/Winter/Holiday stories are my favorites!  I’m thinking that I enjoyed Love at Mistletoe Inn a little more than the others but I may change my mind later J

I’m so happy to be able to write another positive review!  I hate having to write negative reiews so this book totally made me happy!  I will definitely be recommending A Season to Wed to my friends and fellow book lovers!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

2 A.M. at the Cat's Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino

Goodreads Summary

An enchanting and staggeringly original debut novel about one day in the lives of three unforgettable characters

Madeleine Altimari is a smart-mouthed, rebellious nine-year-old who also happens to be an aspiring jazz singer. Still mourning the recent death of her mother, and caring for her grief-stricken father, she doesn’t realize that on the eve of Christmas Eve she is about to have the most extraordinary day—and night—of her life. After bravely facing down mean-spirited classmates and rejection at school, Madeleine doggedly searches for Philadelphia's legendary jazz club The Cat's Pajamas, where she’s determined to make her on-stage debut. On the same day, her fifth grade teacher Sarina Greene, who’s just moved back to Philly after a divorce, is nervously looking forward to a dinner party that will reunite her with an old high school crush, afraid to hope that sparks might fly again. And across town at The Cat's Pajamas, club owner Lorca discovers that his beloved haunt may have to close forever, unless someone can find a way to quickly raise the $30,000 that would save it.

As these three lost souls search for love, music and hope on the snow-covered streets of Philadelphia, together they will discover life’s endless possibilities over the course of one magical night. A vivacious, charming and moving debut, 2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas will capture your heart and have you laughing out loud.

My Thoughts

I’m not really sure how I feel about this book.  Mostly because the ending was so confusing! I mean, what happened?!?!  I’m still very unclear…

I don’t think I actually liked any of the characters that much.  It wasn’t my fault though, I promise, they just weren’t very likeable.  I felt bad for Madeline but I still didn’t like that she was pretty much a brat most of the time.  There were too many story lines going on.  There were way too many perspectives to try to keep up with.  And, to be honest, I really didn’t enjoy reading from the perspective of a dog… at all.

I guess I’m not all that confused about my feeling toward this novel after all.  It wasn’t one that I would recommend to anyone and I wouldn’t want to read it again.  Not my favorite at all.

*Note: I received a copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Never Said by Carol Lynch Williams

Goodreads Summary

For as long as she can remember, Sarah’s family life has revolved around her twin sister, Annie—the pretty one, the social one, the girl who can do anything. The person everyone seems to wish Sarah—with her crippling shyness—could simply become.

When Annie suddenly chops off her hair, quits beauty pageants, and gains weight, the focus changes—Annie is still the star of the family, but for all the wrong reasons. Sarah knows something has happened, but she too is caught in her own spiral after her boyfriend breaks up with her and starts hanging out with one of Annie’s old friends.

Annie is intent on keeping her painful secret safe. But when she and Sarah start spending time together again for the first time in years, walls start to break on both sides … and words that had been left unsaid could change everything

My Thoughts

Never Said was not at all what I was expecting.  At all.  I'm still kind of trying to decide if I liked it or not.  It definitely kept me reading, I finished it in one day, but I'm not completely satisfied with the ending.

I sympathized with Sarah and her struggle with shyness.  Thankfully, I didn't suffer near as bad as she did but I did deal with some social anxiety/awkwardness when I was younger.  I still feel it at times but I'm able to push through it so I found myself rooting for her.

The situation with Annie threw me a bit.  The problem that she was dealing with wasn't exactly what I thought it was going to be...well, it kind of was...but kind of wasn't.  It's so hard to explain without spoilers!

Never Said wasn't the best book ever but it wasn't the worst either.  I would probably recommend it but I don't know that I would give it more than 3 stars.  I may need to read it again to be sure how I feel about it.  All in all, it was a decent book and a pretty quick read.

*Note: I received a copy of this book from in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie

Goodreads Summary

A heartfelt and wondrous debut about family, fear, and skateboarding, that Karen Russell calls "A bruiser of a tale... a death-defying coming-of-age story."

Will has never been outside, at least not since he can remember.  And he has certainly never gotten to know anyone other than his mother, a fiercely loving yet wildly eccentric agoraphobe who panics at the thought of opening the front door.  Their world is rich and fun-loving - full of art, science experiments, and music - and all confined to their small house.

But Will's thirst for adventure can't be contained.  Clad in a protective helmet and unsure of how to talk to other kids, he finally ventures outside.  At his new school he meets Jonah, an artsy loner who introduces Will to the high-flying freedoms of skateboarding.  Together, they search for a missing local boy, help a bedraggled vagabond, and evade a dangerous bootlegger.  The adventure is more than Will ever expected, pulling him far from the confines of his closed-off world and into the throes of early adulthood, and all the risks that everyday life offers.

In buoyant, kinetic prose, Michael Christie has written an emotionally resonant and keenly observed novel about mothers and sons, fears and uncertainties, and the lengths we'll go for those we love.

My Thoughts

There were things I liked about this book and things I didn't like as well.  I was very interested in reading this book when I read the summary but it didn't seem to hold my interest.  Reading felt more like a chore than fun pastime, which makes me sad, so it took me quite a while to read this one.

The beginning of the book was super slow, the middle got pretty good, but then the end seemed rushed and anticlimactic.  There were too many story lines mixed in and I just couldn't keep up!  And then it just if the author was told to wrap it up.

If I Fall, If I Die certainly wasn't the worst book I have ever read but it wasn't my kind of book at all. I probably will not be recommending this book to many people but I wouldn't mind trying another book by Michael Christie if he writes one.  His writing style was good, I just didn't enjoy this story.

*Note: I received a copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.